Finally, Budweiser and AB InBev have answered that age-old question: “What is missing from Budweiser?” The answer, it would seem, is “smaller bubbles.”
Today, AB InBev unveiled the latest line extension to the perpetually flagging Budweiser lineup, dubbed Nitro Reserve Gold. This amber lager is infused with nitrogen—although the company insists on calling it “Nitro” at every available opportunity, presumably deciding that sounded cooler. We should also note that it’s actually not entirely nitrogenated—according to the press release, it’s 75% nitrogen and 25% standard CO2, which is standard for dispensing nitrogenated beers.
The advertising, meanwhile, seems to be structuring the allure of Nitro Reserve Gold as built entirely around the ritual of pouring and serving it, inviting you to break beer “taboo” by inverting the can several times and giving it a hard pour down the center of the glass … much in the same way that pretty much every single nitrogenated craft beer is served. The company unsurprisingly ignores the many non-stout craft beers that have been served on nitrogen (often poorly, we will admit) over the years, saying that Nitro Reserve Gold is unique because “traditionally, Nitro beers are dark.”
As for what Nitro Reserve Gold will actually taste like, the reference to “toasted caramel malt” makes us assume that there must be a little bit of crystal malt involved, which would yield a slightly maltier amber lager that would probably have some things in common with Budweiser’s Jim Beam collaboration, Copper Lager. The added nitrogen, however, would give it what AB InBev dubs “a silky-smooth finish that is less filling.” Does “smoother” equate to “less filling” now?
Interestingly, Bud also trademarked Nitro Reserve Black cans, suggesting that a nitro black lager had at least been on the table, but an AB InBev representative disavowed the existence of that product to Paste. Nitro Reserve Gold, meanwhile, will begin hitting shelves immediately. Check out some of the first advertising below.